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International Conference on Globalization and Challenges for Oceans and Marine Regions in Oslo 21-23 August

Polhøgda(19.08.2008) Leading world experts on marine affairs and the law of the sea from all continents will meet in Oslo 21-23 August to discuss new developments and challenges for contemporary governance of the oceans caused by globalization.

Participation at a conference on "The World Ocean in Globalization: Challenges for Marine Regions", organized by the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Institute, has been confirmed by experts and representatives from numerous countries and international organizations including the UN, International Maritime Organization, FAO, the World Bank, UNESCO, various fisheries and shipping associations, environmental NGOs, as well as members of bodies such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the UN International Law Commission.

Technological advances, globalization and impacts on climate are changing the way we use the oceans today, and also the way we can manage them. Governance mechanisms, like the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, now ratified by 155 countries, face many different challenges today as compared to the time when adopted - a quarter century ago, as in the case of the UN Convention.

Meanwhile, many newly emerged problems for sound ocean governance demand adequate responses – such as the introduction of invasive alien species by ships' ballast water; bioprospecting of marine genetic resources of the deep seabed and in the polar regions; or illegal operational oil spills from vessels and potential of modern satellite technology to help in detecting the offenders. Moreover, interest of many coastal states to secure seabed resources on the continental shelf, like in the Arctic, has become evident recently, and is also on the agenda of the conference. Major challenges that the experts gathered in Oslo will discuss relate also to the sustainability of fishing on the high seas and illegal fishing; increasing maritime transport of hazardous cargo in seas surrounding Europe; and the impacts of climate change on the oceans.

Aimed at providing an independent expert forum, the conference is held under the sponsorship of governmental institutions from several maritime countries, including Norway, New Zealand, Chile, Croatia and Island, and in partnership with foremost academic institutions, such as the University of California at Berkeley, Law of the Sea Institute.

This is the third such international conference organized by the Nansen Institute on marine affairs and the Law of the Sea; the first was in 1983, soon after the UN Law of the Sea Convention was adopted - and the second in 1998, coinciding with the UN International Year of the Ocean.

Further information:
   Conference program
   Conference website
   FNI research on Marine Affairs and the Law of the Sea

Contact persons:
   Davor Vidas (for enquiries regarding the program)
   Claes Lykke Ragner (for all other enquiries)
 The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental, energy, and resource management politics.
The Institute maintains a multi-disciplinary approach, with main emphasis on political science, economics, and international law.

Fridtjof Nansen Institute
P.O. Box 326, 1326 Lysaker, Norway. Tel: (+47) 67111900 / E-mail: post (